Maria Sharapova, who celebrated her 30th birthday on Wednesday, will find out on May 15 whether or not she can play at the French Open starting May 28. The Russian will make a controversial return next week at the Stuttgart Grand Prix after serving a 15-month drug ban for using the banned substance meldonium. The French tennis officials stated that the absence of Serena Williams, who on Wednesday announced she was 20 weeks pregnant, will have no bearing on their decision on whether Sharapova will be given clearance for the second Grand Slam of the year.
Waking up to 30 like.... pic.twitter.com/JkcNspzB8z— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) April 19, 2017
Stuttgart offered the twice Roland Garros champion a wildcard entry because she no longer has a world ranking -- a move that angered some players. She has also been invited to clay-court events in Madrid and Rome.
Whether she receives a wildcard for Roland Garros will be revealed just a week before qualifying begins for the clay court Major.
French Tennis Federation (FTF) president Bernard Giudicelli said last month they faced a moral dilemma and hinted he was against it.
If Sharapova misses out the French Open will go ahead in the absence of the two biggest drawcards in the women's game, with Serena announcing the end of her season due to pregnancy.
"Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are two unconnected cases," said Giudicelli. "We're staging a Grand Slam, not a casting."
If the FTF decides not to offer Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, a wildcard she still has a chance of making Roland Garros via the qualifiers, but for that route she must pick up enough points by winning or possibly even making the final in Stuttgart.
(With inputs from AFP)